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January, 1905.] 



MODERN LANGUAGE NOTES. 



11 



and metrical functions of hyrde ic are clearly seen 
in 1. 2163 : hyrde in />at paw, frcstwum feower 
mearasl hmgre geliee last weardode.* 

5. Finally, what is the true nature of the paleo- 
graphical evidence of which so much has been 
made? As Mr. F. E. Bryant has pointed out 
(Mod. Lang. Notes, xix, 121), hecfoo of heafioscil- 
fingas (1. 63) appears to be written over an erasure, 
though no letter underneath heafto can be made 
out with certainty. "What conclusion regarding 
the original reading of the passage can be drawn 
from this fact ? None whatever. The scribe had 
made a mistake, which he corrected. That is all 
the erasure tells us. Whether that unlucky scribal 
blunder which has caused so much headache to 
modern scholars, occurred before or after elan cwen, 
cannot be learned from it Nor do we know 
whether the (first) scribe of our Beowulf copy 
actually committed or merely transmitted it. Be- 
sides can we really be sure that what he erased was 
not simply a blot of ink ? 

There would be some point in Mr. Abbott's 
paleographical argumentation if in the original ms. 
the half-lines had been indicated as such, but this 
is out of the question. 

To sum up. There is no reason to transfer 
HrotSulf from the line of the Scyldings to that of 
the Scylfings. He is not the son-in-law of Healf- 
dene. The names of Healfdene's daughter and 
her husband are unknown to us. Of the different 
names proposed for the daughter, Elan, Sigeneow, 
Yrde, and for the son-in-law, Onela, Ongen/>eow, 
Scewela, Hrd&ulf, those of Yrde and Hroftulf must 
certainly be ruled out. 



University of Minnesota. 



Fk. Klaebeh. 



DID THACKEKAY WBITE 
Elizabeth Brovmrigge t 

It is a well-known and curious fact that the 
authorship of Elizabeth Brovmrigge has never 
been definitely fixed ; nor have the arguments, for 

'Certainly the phrase does not point to the composer's 
11 uncertainty of information," as has been supposed ( Mod. 
Lang. Notes, sex, 121). 



and against, ascribing that burlesque to Thackeray 
ever been succinctly gathered and stated, so far as 
I am aware. The piece in question first appeared 
in Fraser'8 Magazine for August and September, 
1832, and occupies, in all, about forty double- 
column pages of that monthly. It is dedicated 
"to the author of Eugene Aram," and is a rather 
clever parody on that romance of criminal life. 

Now, if Thackeray wrote Elizabeth Brovmrigge, 
it is a significant fact that he nowhere lays claim 
to it, nor does any one seem to have ascribed it to 
him until after his death, — a period of over thirty 
years after its publication. The first suggestion 
that Thackeray was the probable author of the 
burlesque was made by Dr. John Brown, in an 
article reviewing Thackeray and his work, in the 
North British Review for February, 1864, (Vol. 
XL, 216 sq.). The original Thackeray bibliog- 
raphy, compiled by Mr. K. H. Shepherd, 1880, 
contained no mention of Elizabeth Brovmrigge, and 
the "Works of William Makepeace Thackeray," 
completed in 1886, failed to include it. The poet 
Swinburne called Mr. Shepherd's attention to the 
probable omission from the 1880 bibliography in 
the unusually guarded statement that " ' Elizabeth 
Brownrigge' . . . ought to be Thackeray's, for, 
if it is not, he stole the idea, and to some extent 
the style, [from it, for Catherine (pr. 1839)]." l 
Not until 1887, when Mr. Shepherd collected and 
published "Sultan Stork and other Stories and 
Sketches by William Makepeace Thackeray," was 
Elizabeth Brownrigge reprinted from the columns 
of Fraser. 

That a burlesque showing so much critical 
acumen and literary skill should remain unclaimed 
and unidentified so long gives some color to the 
improbability of its belonging to Thackeray. 
Furthermore, if Thackeray wrote Elizabeth Brown- 
rigge, it is out of all proportion in size and quality 
to the other productions of Thackeray's earliest 
literary years, and seems to be a reversal in the 
evolution of his work. Such an anomaly is, of 
course, possible, but it is more or less improbable 
that an aspiring youth of twenty-one should fail to 
take advantage of the opening which this smart bit 
of burlesque should have made for him in Eraser's 

1 Letter from A. C. Swinburne to K. H. Shepherd, dated 
December 24, 1880. Eeprinted in Sultan Stork, etc, 
Introd., p. vii. 



12 



MODERN LANGUAGE NOTES. 



[Vol xx, No. 1. 



columns, particularly since Thackeray was not 
only gifted in the rdle of burlesquer, (as ■witness 
practically all of his ■writings before and imme- 
diately after 1832), but also he was in urgent 
need, at this time, of employment. Again, to 
strengthen this view, it would seem strange that 
one should write for a magazine a story, parody 
though it be, so sustained in quality and of the 
length of Elizabeth Brownrigge, and not continue 
to contribute to the same periodical. Nevertheless, 
with the exception of The King of Brentford (a 
jeu d' esprit in imitation of Beranger's U Uait un 
Roi d'Yvetot), it is nearly five years after the 
publication of Elizabeth Brownrigge before Thack- 
eray is certainly identified (in the Yellowplush Cor- 
respondence) as a regular contributor to Eraser's. 
And as a final possible objection to the Thackeray 
authorship of the burlesque on Eugene Aram, it 
should be noted that another might have written 
the burlesque story under consideration : Thack- 
eray could hardly have been alone in seeing the 
weak points in Bulwer's armor, and the tone of 
criticism in 1832 was so common to the multitude 
of writers that it is no easy task to determine the 
authorship of a given piece from solely internal 
evidence. 

On the other hand, favoring the Thackeray 
authorship, strong evidence might be deduced 
from a comparison of Elizabeth Brownrigge with 
Catherine. While, as a literary effort, the latter 
is easily the superior of the former, and while the 
satire is less bitter and the burlesque more open 
and palatable in the later performance ; the pur- 
pose, method, and style of the two are identical. 
Both are particularly aimed at Bulwer ; they con- 
tain similar expressions characteristic of Thack- 
eray ; and, above all, the tenets of ' realism ' 
which Thackeray gradually developed for himself 
and on which he based his great novels, appear in 
both burlesques as no one but Thackeray, of all 
his contemporaries, has expressed them. In the 
dedication to Elizabeth Brownrigge we read the 
following, addressed to Bulwer : "I am told . . . 
that in a former work, having to paint an adul- 
terer, you described him as belonging to the class 
of country curates, among whom, perhaps, such a 
criminal is not met with once in a hundred years ; 
while, on the contrary, being in search of a tender- 
hearted, generous, sentimental, high-minded hero 



of romance, you turned to the pages of the Newgate 
Calendar, and looked for him in the list of men 
who have cut throats for money, among whom a 
person in possession of such qualities could never 
have been met with at all." And in a note 
appended to the first chapter of Catherine we find 
this explanation of the author's purpose : "The 
amusing novel of Ernest Maltravers . . . opens 
with a seduction ; but then it is performed by 
persons of the strictest virtue on both sides ; and 
there is so much religion and philosophy in the 
heart of the seducer, so much tender innocence in 
the soul of the seduced, that — bless the little 
dears ! — their very peccadilloes make one inter- 
ested in them ; and their naughtiness becomes 
quite sacred, so deliriously is it described. Now, 
if we are to be interested by rascally action, let us 
have them with plain faces, and let them be per- 
formed, not by virtuous philosophers, but by 
rascals." And more to the same effect. This 
insistence on novelists representing character as it 
is in the world is the motivation common to Eliza- 
beth Brownrigge and Catherine; and its expression 
in both is in Thackeray's vein, as evidenced by 
numerous others of his literary and art criticisms 
of the period between 1830 and 1840. Another 
stricture on Bulwer's practice of reversing the 
characters of life in his novels may be compared 
with the foregoing in Thackeray's "Our Batch of 
Novels for Christmas, 1837," published in Eraser's 
for January, 1838 (Vol. 17, pp. 79-103), in 
which Ernest Maltravers is, for the third time, 
handled after the same manner. In the same 
article Thackeray makes the following comment 
on Mrs. Trollope's Vicar of Wrexhill: "Mrs. 
Trollope may make a licentious book of which the 
heroes and heroines are all of the evangelical 
party ; and it may be true, that there are scoundrels 
belonging to that party as to every other ; but her 
shameful error has been in fixing upon the evan- 
gelical class as an object of satire, making them 
necessarily licentious and hypocritical, and charg- 
ing upon every one of them the vices which belong 
to a very few of all sects . . . ." This is of an 
exact piece with the quotation from the dedication 
to Elizabeth Brownrigge, and may be traced, in 
spirit and expression, through the review of "The 
Duchess of Marlborough's Private Correspon- 
dence" (1838), "French Literature" (1833), 



January, 1905.] 



MODERN LANGUAGE NOTES. 



13 



"Strictures on Pictures" (1838), "Madame 
Sand and Spiridion" (1839), etc., etc., to 
mention only examples from Thackeray's early 
writings. The aim and execution of the author of 
Elizabeth Brownrigge is in such perfect harmony 
with the above citations and with qualities that 
are peculiarly Thackeray's that, without absolute 
proofs to the contrary, it does not seem over rash 
to assign that burlesque to him. 



Yale University. 



Watson Nicholson. 



GOETHE'S Hermann und Dorothea AND 
VOSS' Biad. 

The last six years have produced three editions 
of Hermann und Dorothea by American editors, 
and a fourth is promised us in the near future. 
The purposes of the editors is necessarily deter- 
mined by the needs that the text is designed to 
meet, and the editions make greater or less pre- 
tense of scholarship accordingly. We do not 
demand a large amount of original investigation 
for a school edition ; a presentation of the most 
essential facts already known, adapted to the 
needs of the student is what we may expect and is 
all that is necessary. A certain amount of repe- 
tition of the work of others is inevitable and often 
desirable ; certain things are said by every editor 
of H. und D. and must be said by every suc- 
cessor ; indeed, it is often better to quote the 
words of an earlier editor than to appropriate his 
thought and present it as one's own in a muti- 
lated form. And yet even for the editor of the 
most unpretentious edition there is often oppor- 
tunity for verification and sifting of the state- 
ments of his predecessors. 

Among the things that are inevitable in an 
edition of Goethe's idyll are references to "the 
Homeric quality" which pervades it and the 
student finds numerous citations and annotations 
to bear this out. For this there is abundant 
opportunity and justification, perhaps for even 
more than is ordinarily said. Victor Hehn 1 has 

1 Victor Hehn, TJeber Goethes Hermann und Dorothea. 
Zweite verbesserte Auflage, page 127 ft Stuttgart, Cotta, 
1898. 



collected the most conspicuous passages which 
suggest reminiscences of Homer and Vergil, and 
most of our modern editions contain them in the 
annotations. Concerning line 107 of the seventh 
canto of H. und D., there prevails remarkable 
unanimity of opinion among the later American 
editors in referring it to the direct influence of 
Voss' translation. The line reads : 

"In den Brunnen zuriick, und susses Verlangen ergrifl 
sie." 

Hart ' has no note on this line. 
Hewitt * annotates : 

' ' An Homeric expression. See Iliad, in. 446, 
Voss' translation : 

' Wie ich jetzt dich liebe und susses Verlangen ergreift 
mich.' " 

Hatfield 4 makes the following comment : 
"Cf. Biad, in, 446: 

&s <reo vvv (papal xal /ie y\vxis fywpot alpei 

translated by Voss : 

Wie ich jetzt dich liebe und susses Verlangen ergreift 
mich." 

Palmer 6 : "An Homeric expression, fixed in 
this form by Voss in his translation of the Biad, 
in, 446 : 

Wie ich jetzt dich liebe und susses Verlangen ergreift 
mich." 

Adams' merely quotes Hewett. 

In spite of the positive statement in the anno- 
tations of the editors cited above that the line in 
question was translated by Voss in the form given 
by them an attempt to verify the quotation was 
singularly disappointing, for in the Beclam * edi- 
tion it appears in this guise : 

Als ich anjetzt dir gliihe, durchbebt von sussem Verlangen. 

This failure of the Reclam text to agree with 

1 James Morgan Hart, Goethe's Hermann und Dorothea. 
New York, Putnam's Sons, 1875. 

8 W. T. Hewett, Goethe's H. u. D. D. C. Heath & 
Co., Boston, 1891. 

1 James Taft Hatfield, Goethe's H. u. D. Macmillan, 
New York, 1899. 

6 Arthur H. Palmer, Goethe's H. u. D. D. Appleton 
& Co., New York, 1903. 

«W. A. Adams, Goethe's H. u. D. D. C. Heath & 
Co., Boston, 1904. 

' Beclam' s Universal-Biblioihek, No. 251-253. Neudruck 
der ersten Ausgabe, Leipzig.